Edtech Product Review

Learning Target OR Standards & Connections
  • Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences for All Students
Essential Outcomes(s) Level(s)
Students will…

  • Learn to analyze edtech products
  • Analyze Soundtrap as an edtech product for their classrooms
  1. Teacher will share this article about ed tech product reviews for students to read and discuss why they may need to review ed tech products. 
  2. Students will log into a Soundtrap account and explore edu.soundtrap.com 
  3. Students will consider the following sources in their review: the product itself, product materials (tutorials, lesson plans, videos, etc)
  4. In groups, students will choose a category: content, alignment, learning science, instruction and pedagogy, affordances of technology, bias & sensitivity, social & emotional learning, engagement & inspiration, usability, implementation
  5. For each category, students will review the following questions and indicators in relation to the Soundtrap EDU product:
      1. Question: How comprehensively does the product cover the subject matter?
      2. Indicators: Product makes rigorous academic content accessible to students of levels
      3. Product provides appropriate scaffolding to support the needs of learners
      4. Product addresses relevant misconceptions
      1. Question: How well is the product’s content aligned with relevant standards?
      2. Indicators: Company pays attention to relevant academic standards
      3. Company pays attention to what is currently being taught in school
      4. Product connects to real world applications
      1. Question: Is the product built on principles of learning science? 
      2. Indicators: Product builds on students’ prior knowledge 
      3. Product aligns with target learning goals
      4. Product promotes transfer to other contexts
      1. Question: Is the product built on best principles of good pedagogy and instruction?
      2. Indicators: Product use allows for active learning
      3. Product tasks are appropriate and within the zone of proximal development for target users
      4. Product introduces and explains content using multiple learning modalities
      1. Question: Does the product take advantage of affordances provided by use of technology?
      2. Indicators: Product allows for users to receive real-time formative feedback or diagnostic data
      3. Product allows for users to customize or personalize content
      4. Product allows users to engage in collaborative activities through use of technology
      1. Question: Is the product accessible for and sensitive to a wide range of user groups? (Paying particular attention to the product’s representations and accommodations for gender, race/ethnicity, and users with special needs.)
      2. Indicators: Company identifies potential user groups 
      3. Company identifies needs of user groups 
      4. Company has designed product to be accessible to user groups
      1. Question: Does the product address the social and emotional aspects of learning?
      2. Indicators: (from CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning)
      3. Product addresses SEL core competencies, such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making
      4. Product utilizes elements of effective SEL approaches, such as being sequenced, active, focused, and explicit
      5. Product involves coordinated SEL strategies across classrooms, schools, homes, and communities
      1. Question: Does the product inspire interest and engagement in learning?
      2. Indicators: Product provides positive experiences around learning 
      3. Product helps users connect learning to real world career opportunities
      4. Product relates learning to participants’ real world experiences
      1. Question: Is the product intuitive and easy to use?
      2. Indicators: Digital product is easy to navigate; Physical product is easy to setup
      3. Core product features are easy to use
      4. Information is clearly presented to the user
  6. Groups will determine a rating for their category of the following:
    • Needs Strategic Planning – The product is at a preliminary stage of development with respect to the indicators and the company should conduct strategic planning around addressing the criteria listed. 
    • Needs Commitment of Resources – The product is at an intermediate stage of development with respect to the indicators, demonstrating that the company has conducted some strategic planning, but the company should continue to commit resources towards addressing the criteria specified in the indicators.
    • On Track – The product is at an advanced stage of development with respect to the indicators, demonstrating that the company has conducted significant strategic planning and has committed resources towards addressing the criteria specified in the indicators.
  7. Groups will present their findings to the class
  8. Teachers will then discuss and record their ideas on how to use Soundtrap in their classrooms.
Extended Learning
  1. Students may record their responses and group discussion on Soundtrap.
  2. Students may use Soundtrap lesson plans to create a curriculum.


This lesson is adapted from NewSchools/WestEd product review and compiled by Serena Robinett, previous NYC DOE music educator and now an Education Specialist at Soundtrap for Education. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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